Rama Krishna Sangem
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has ruled out reports of early elections to the state assembly and made it clear that they will be held March/April 2024. He told this to bis ministerial colleagues in a Cabinet meeting held in Amaravati on June 7, Wednesday. Jagan’s YSR Congress won 151 out of 175 MLAs in AP in 2019. Opposition TDP got 23, while Jana Sena’s lone MLA subsequently joined Jagan.
Speculation gained momentum since recently over Jagan opting for early elections along with those of Telangana and four other states later this year. As per original schedule, AP to go for polls March/April next year. This speculation picked up after his arch rival and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu met Union Home Minister and BJP’s chief strategist Amit Shah in Delhi a couple of days ago. BJP chief JP Nadda too was at the meeting at Shah’s residence.
Already stitched an alliance with Power Star Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena, Naidu is vigorously wooing BJP with a decent number of seats to join him, so as to defeat Jagan in next assembly elections. It’s still not known whether Shah and Nadda promised anything to Naidu. They are expected to discuss the matter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon.
Though CM Jagan is maintaining friendly relations with PM Modi and ruling BJP at the Centre, he is unlikely to give any seats to BJP in 2024 polls – to both assembly and Lok Sabha.
At the same time, Naidu is offering a formal alliance with BJP and allotting seats to form a TDP-Jana Sena-BJP combine. BJP is top brass is undecided which is better deal – to help Jagan retain power or to go with Naidu and win some minimum seats. BJP’s AP unit is in a hopeless condition. They may not win even a single seat on their own. So, a clear picture will emerge only after some time.
Jagan’s Sops on Govt emploees
Meanwhile, CM Jagan announced a slew of sops to government employees ahead of assembly elections 9 months away. The Cabinet meeting chaired by him on Wednesday approved setting up a new 16h Pay Revision Commission (PRC) to government staff.
The CM announced to regularize around 10,117 contract employees who are in service since 2009. A major decision that will please government staff is to scrap the present contributory pension scheme (CPS) and bring in its place a new one – guaranteed pension scheme (GPS).
Jagan is optimistic of winning again on the strength of his welfare schemes in 2024. He told this to his Cabinet colleagues on Wednesday – “We will win the elections, if you take our schemes to people who benefited, in the next 9 months,” he is learnt to have said. Some more welfare schemes too would be announced in the coming months, sources said.